Admiralty of Rotterdam

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The Admiralty of Rotterdam, also called the Admiralty of de Maze, was one of the five Admiralties in the Dutch Republic.


Map of the Haringvliet in 1652

It was set up in 1574 during the Dutch Revolt, when (after the Capture of Brielle) William I of Orange's supporters decided to pool their naval resources at Rotterdam. After a number of reorganisations designed with fostering cooperation between the Admiralties, the structure of the five Admiralties was determined and defined via a 1597 decision of the States-General of the Netherlands. The Admiralty had branches for equipping warships, protecting overseas trade and traffic on the sea and rivers, collecting taxes, and jurisdiction over loot and price setting. This situation remained in place until the admiralties were disestablished in 1795.

This, the oldest of the admiralties, was based in the Prinsenhof (Rotterdam), the former Saint Agnathaklooster, at Botersloot (nl). In the former monastery's brewery was built an artilleriehuis, and also within the complex an Admiralty prison was built. In 1644 the Prinsenhof was demolished for the construction of Nieuwemarkt, with the Admiralty moving to the north-west corner of Haringvliet. The artilleriehuis was, however, spared due to its non-central position, on the Prinsenhofterrein by the end of the Huibrug, but was demolished and rebuilt in 1759, probably using stone from the demolished late 16th century frontage of the Admiralty building. One of these stones shows the Admiralty's arms, with the crossed anchors and an abbreviation of its motto Pugno Pro Patria ("I fight for the fatherland").

The Admiralty's new 1644 building, the Admiraliteitshof (with its name recalling that of the Prinsenhof), was an imposing classical building, with a facade showing the coat of arms, and a square plan centred on a courtyard. It was demolished in 1884 (the remains of a gate with the coat of arms can be seen in the collection of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

The 's-Landswerf in Rotterdam

Since the end of the sixteenth century the Admiralty had also owned the 's-Landswerf, an arsenal and warehouse at the northeastern corner of the Nieuwehaven, which was demolished and rebuilt on the same site in 1660, then extended in 1662 with a second arsenal accessed by a very broad entrance opposite the east gate. In the second half of the seventeenth century the Nieuwehaven was extended to the Buizengat, leading the 's-Landswerf to be moved to the Buizengat's south bank in or after 1689. In 1701, a part of the complex on Groenendaal was destroyed by fire. The rebuilding of the affected wing was commemorated with a foundation stone laid by Diderik Hogendorp. In the 18th century the second arsenal was closed and modernised by the architect Jan Giudici. G. D. Wijckerheld Bisdom laid its first stone on 8 May 1783.

Through all these expansions at a large rectangular building gradually arose. In 1823, the second arsenal was re-organized for the corps of mariners. In 1846, the corps disappeared and in 1868 returned. In 1849 the navy yard (Marinewerf), as the complex was called after the Admiralties were dissolved in 1795, closed. This last building was re-organized in 1855 as a Rijksentrepot.

Near to the many sites relating to the Admiralty may be seen a lijnbaan (touwslagersstraat, or rope-making factory) with accompanying buildings at the Lagendijk just outside the Oostpoort. These were set up in 1697 and were 265 metres long and 10 metres wide, and in service until 1847.

Fleet-guardians (vlootvoogden)[edit]

Well-known fleet-guardians (Vlootvoogd (nl)) of the Rotterdam Admiralty include:

Battle of Texel[edit]

In the 1673 Battle of Texel, the last big battle of the Third Anglo-Dutch War, the Admiralty of Rotterdam provided the following ships and captains:

Ships of the line:
De Zeven Provinciën 80 (vlaggeschip der vloot, luitenant-admiraal-generaal Michiel de Ruyter, vlaggekapiteins Gerard Callenburgh en Pieter de Liefde)
Delft 62 (Philips van Almonde)
Ridderschap 64 (Eland du Bois)
Voorzichtigheid 84 (Jan van Brakel)
Gelderland 63 (waarnemend schout-bij-nacht Cornelis de Liefde, dodelijk gewond)
Vrijheid 80 (viceadmiraal Jan Evertszoon de Liefde, gesneuveld)
Eendracht 72 (luitenant-admiraal Aert Jansse van Nes)
Maagd van Dordrecht 68 (viceadmiraal Jan Jansse van Nes)
Dordrecht 44 (Frans van Nijdek)
Zeelandia 42 (Simon van Panhuis)
Schieland 58 (Adriaan Poort)
Wassenaer 59 (Barend Rees)
Schiedam 20 (Cornelis van der Hoevensoon)
Utrecht 34 (Jan Snellensoon)
Rotterdam 30 (Jacob Pieterszoon Swart)
Harderwijk 24 (MozesWichmansoon)
Hoop 6 (Isaac Anteuniszoon van Anten)
Rotterdam 6 (Wijnand van Meurs)
Sint Pieter (Gerrit Halfkaag)
Jisper Kerk 4 (Lens Harmenszoon)
Blackmoor 4 (Abraham van Koperen)
Maria 4 (Dirk de Munnik)
Eenhoorn (Willem de Rave)
Louise 4 (Jan Daniëlszoon van Rijn)

External links[edit]